The year 2020 started with so much uncertainty with Covid-19 affecting every aspect of our lives. This pandemic year saw a huge spur in cyber attacks activity. Organizations, big or small, in order to continue to work, had to make a quick transition to remote working. New infrastructure, new remote working technologies had to be put in place in a very short time leaving behind many security loopholes unattended.
The hackers are now trying to exploit this very crisis to their advantage. They are trying to exploit public fear during the pandemic to execute phishing attacks through phone calls or e-mails, designed on the theme of Covid-19.
According to security firm Crowd strike findings, the number of cyber-attacks detected in the first half of the year 2020, covered the total for all 2019. It was found that cybercrime had increased up over 330% since the start of the year versus 2019. 2020 has been a peak year for cyber-attacks.
So, it becomes crucial to understand these security gaps and fix them. Most of the organizations have been quick to respond to the changing working environment and Cybersecurity has already taken the front seat of most of their board meetings. Some organizations are putting in more investment in proactive hunting and managed security services. On the other hand, other enterprises have a lot to catch up with.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that an organization of any size is equally susceptible to cyber-attacks. Smaller organizations stand to become easier targets as large companies continue to restructure their data security, while larger organizations are targeted due to the vast amount of data that can be obtained from breaking into their systems. There is less or no point in making any changes to cybersecurity protocol and bringing it into effect after a data breach has already occurred.
It is important to be ready beforehand. Any data breach, malware, ransom attack can incur heavy financial losses to a business, even to an extent that it could even threaten the very existence of the company.
Here are some simple economical practices you must follow which will reduce your risk of falling prey to cyber-attacks resulting in heavy financial losses.
- Secure Sockets Layer Certificates
Secure your sub-domains and main domain with Wildcard SSL Certificates. It is essential as there is a high chance of data breach while the data is in the network between two servers or a server and client. SSL certificates from Clickssl.net protect your vital information exchanged between both in server-client and in server to server communication over the internet.
- Spreading Awareness
You must plan in advance to stay safe and put a security plan into effect. Educate your employees on the finer details of the principles of cybersecurity and train them on how to secure their data from cyber-attacks. Train them to avoid unknown mail and phishing links. Periodic reiteration of the importance of maintaining caution is essential to safeguard the company data.
- Cybersecurity Plan
Each of the employees should have their own user account with passwords that are changed after certain intervals of time. Employee access to data and information should be limited and the authority to install software should also be restrictive in nature. Physical access to your computers and network components should be monitored to ensure that they are not breached. All employees must be aware of the plan to follow in case of a cyber-attack.
- Strong passwords
Using stronger and complex passwords is a must. In addition, enabling multi factor authentication for admin access or server logins gives an added layer of security. It is advisable to make it a regular practice to change your default settings and passwords to reduce the impact of any potential attack on your work systems. Devices accessing the cloud-based resources must have advanced endpoint security and strong passwords must be used.
- Wi-Fi Network Protection
Internal Wi-Fi networks must be protected. It is imperative to make sure that the Wi-Fi network for the businesses is hidden and secure. Use a firewall for your Internet connection, a VPN can be used especially when accessing a home or public internet and still you use free Wi-Fi then follow these tips when you are using public Wi-Fi.
- Server Security
Use a secure connection when interacting with a remote server. It is essential to establish a secure channel for communication by using the SSH (Secure Shell) Protocol which encrypts all data transmitted in the exchange.
- Secure File Transfer Protocol
For safe transfer of files to and from a server, it is vital to use File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS). It encrypts data files and your authentication information and safeguards your crucial information from being stolen.
- Backup Data
You should regularly backup data. It is crucial to always have a backup of the data so that in case of a mishap organizations can recover quickly. Bouncing back as soon as possible is the first priority after being exposed to any cyber-attack. It is a good idea to have a restore plug-in in place.
- Use Antivirus and Anti-malware Software
Always install and use Antivirus and Anti-malware software for all your network servers as well as computer systems. It is always better to be safe than sorry and these protective software’s not only protect your data but also warn you against any possible threats.
- Regular Software Update
Regularly update your antivirus and anti-malware software to keep up with the new threats in the form of malware, viruses, and spyware appearing on the web. Newer updates come with security patches to keep cyber threats at bay. It is a good idea to also keep the operating system and plug-ins updated regularly.
In conclusion, we can say, that organizations have acknowledged the shortcomings in their security plans and that, it needs to be restructured because of the changed remote operating working system. There is a need to ensure that the employees remain secure against any technically advanced cyber threat irrespective of their location. In the new working environment, it will be very crucial to find and implement security solutions that can be used quickly to detect new complex threats of cyber-crime. Security solutions that adhere to new cloud technology are needed so that data security can be managed remotely.
Organizations must put together a defense mechanism that includes a basic security system in place, theft hunting, strong passwords, and wider cyber safety awareness among the employees to be able to safeguard their new working environments.